A Gettysburg Address for the 21st Century


Twelve score and six years ago our founding fathers (and founding mothers) brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in hypocrisy, and dedicated to the proposition that most white men were created equal, but women, Blacks and Indians were subhuman and much less than equal.

Now we are engaged in a great cultural war, testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.  We are met on a great battlefield of that war, called Washington, D.C.   Many of us have come to protest on a portion of that field.  A chamber where those who raised enough money to get elected can further their dreams of power, glory, and greed.  Our enemies would strip us of the little democracy that is left in our country.  It is altogether fitting and proper that we should protest this attack on our democracy; though it will probably not make much difference and may only end up with us getting beaten and clubbed.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot succumb — we cannot give up — we cannot forget– this ground. Brave men and women, living and dead, have struggled here before us, have protested here before us.  From those honored protestors who have gone before us, we make increased devotion to the cause for which some gave their last full measure.  It is perhaps far above our ability to add or detract from their valiant efforts.

The world may little note, nor long care what we say here.  It will all too soon forget what we tried to do here as well.  But let us not surrender to world opinion.  As Americans one and all, we must be dedicated to the great task still remaining; to make this nation truly proper to be called a nation of justice, equality, and freedom.

We here highly resolve that those living, and dead shall not have struggled or died in vain. That this country, under manifold Gods, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that a democratic government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from this earth.  And that someday, America will manifest the dream of Martin Luther King to become a country where little children will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.


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